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Lessons Learned in the Import/Export Process from an Azerbaijani Distributor

As we wrote about in a previous blog post, USAID recently facilitated an agreement between an American manufacturer of agrochemicals, Grow More, and the Azerbaijani distributor Vatan Az, for a shipment of one full container load of Grow More’s fertilizer to Azerbaijan. Since this was Vatan Az’s very first experience importing products from the United States, the business owner, Azar Amiraslanov, would like to share a few of the lessons his company learned from the process:

Lessons learned by Vatan Az from their very first import/export transaction:

1.) Do your homework - Familiarize yourself with the list of documents required for the importation of goods, especially products like agrochemicals.

2.) Understand the different kinds of lncoterms - Are the necessary Incoterms, for example, ‘Cost and Freight,’ or ‘Cost Insurance and Freight?’ Knowing the difference can save a lot of hassle.

3.) Know the buyer’s and seller’s liabilities - Make sure each is clearly understood.

4.) Understand the forms of payments used in international trade - Will you be paying by cash-in-advance, letters of credit, export credit insurance, or a different form of payment?

5.) Take into consideration the mode of delivery and the place of delivery - The details matter, and they can be the difference maker between a financially efficient transaction and a shipment causing frustration at every port of entry.

And finally,

6.) Expect the unexpected - It is more likely than not that something unforeseen will happen along the way, as the U.S. and Azerbaijan are countries with very different approaches to trade and different expectations as to what documentation should be provided. Creativity, flexibility, and patience are often essential to getting an initial deal to the finish line. After procedures are developed that work, and useful relationships are made that can help move things along, navigating the Azerbaijani marketplace is likely to be much easier.

Luckily, Vatan Az worked together with the PSA team to make their first transaction with Grow More a success. Now that Mr. Amiraslanov better understands the import/export process, he is prepared to help Grow More expand its business into the Greater Caspian Region through their regional distributorship.

If you don’t know all of the answers to the advice above, there is no need to worry! Click the ‘Contact Us’ button below or email us at PSA’s team members will be happy to support your international trade effort between the United States and the Greater Caspian and will assist you through every step of the import-export process.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article and services provided by USAID contractors for the implementation of USAID projects do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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